The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) and UP choral groups gave the public an evening of symphonic and choral music with solos from a premier tenor and mezzo soprano, presented in a free and live concert, on December 8, 2018, in the Quezon Hall Amphitheater in UP Diliman.
Performing with the historic Quezon Hall as backdrop and in a full open-air amphitheater, the ensemble delighted the crowd with a mix of carols, classical and modern selections, including symphonic arrangements for 2015 and 2016 popular hits and Beyonce music.
A set was devoted to international and local Christmas-themed songs, which the crowd was invited to join. The concert culminated in the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s “Messiah” and Nicanor Abelardo’s “UP Naming Mahal”.
Maestro Herminigildo Ranera conducted the ensemble composed of the PPO and 130 voices provided by the UP Cherubim and Seraphim, the UP Concert Chorus, the UP Singing Ambassadors, the UP Staff Chorale, and UP chorus classes. Solos were performed by mezzo soprano Janet Sabas-Aracama and tenor Ramon Acoymo, who also provided the concert spiels.
The intermission was highlighted by a surprise parade of UP athletes, for whom tribute songs were sung by Acoymo and the crowd. The amphitheater became a sea of waving lights as the crowd lit up their mobile phone flashlights and cheered the athletes.
Titled “Pamaskong Handog ng UP”, the concert was offered free to the public through the cooperation of the UP System and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This was the third time in 2018 the PPO played in a free and live concert in UP. “Pamaskong Handog” was the first time, however, for the PPO to accompany UP groups.
The PPO played in the Philippine General Hospital and UP Diliman under its outreach program in which it gives free performances to the public with the help of hosting partners. Acoymo has served as coordinator in the past two UP concerts. (Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO)